Closer to the Edge

Ben brings us his December update from Seattle

Time is speeding up on this placement, and everything is happening at once. Yesterday I delivered the most important presentation of my placement so far to senior members of TCS & Starquest and the TUI Specialist and Activity Sector, and it was very well-received. Immediately after that I was told that I had to apply for a visa for a trip to Asia in January and I had to get it ASAP. I spent the afternoon rushing around Seattle gathering up materials and my passport, and FedExing it all to Washington D.C. I can’t remember the last time I was more than 100 miles from my passport, let alone 2,700 miles from it. And I have to have it back before the 21st because I’m flying to Idaho!

It’ll be fine, I’m sure. Right?


For the last month and a half or so I’ve been in Seattle for most of the time, apart from a weekend in rainy Portland.  But for the next month and a half or so, I’ll hardly be in Seattle at all, mixing in up in Boise for Christmas, then back to Seattle for less than 24 hours before flying out to New York for New Year! Flights are booked, hotel booked, friends contacted… just need that passport back in my hand and I’m good to go. I’ll be back in Seattle for just six days after my return from New York before heading out to fulfill the purpose of the aforementioned visa.

Standing in the shadow of Little Si

Standing on a cliff in the shadow of Little Si

I’ve taken up running again. I’ve been forced into it as a way to keep off the pounds that inevitably pile up in this country (hey, I’m English, I usually live on triangular sandwiches and tea). I ran a 6 mile circuit around my suburb last Saturday, the last two miles of which followed one long hill from sea level to an elevation of 350m. It was nice to feel the post run glow again. The next day I force-marched my Chinese housemate up a (small) mountain called Little Si. He moaned all the way up, and grabbed a stick to support his buckling legs. At one point he said to me, “Ben, you are fat, why are you find this more easy than me? [sic]” Tact isn’t his strong suit, in case you hadn’t realised. The hike wouldn’t have been the same without him though, after all, who could I have asked to take pictures of me if he wasn’t there?

I think I’ll be decorating a Christmas tree this weekend with my Line Manager and her family. That’ll keep my my mind off the possibility of my passport being lost in one of the 9 States between here and D.C.

Categories: Ben Cook | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Closer to the Edge

  1. benisjamin

    Ben you big fatty, it sounds like you’re having an amazing time! Good work on the presentation/running/exploration of your host country. NYE in NYC will be immense! I too am currently anxiously awaiting the return of my passport, so feel your pain. But I’m sure we’ll be fine…

  2. Sounds like a really busy time but how exciting to be achieving so much! Have a great time in NYC over New Year too – and best of luck with the passports Bens! 🙂

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